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SSIG Candidates for 2019-2020 Executive Committee
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We are very pleased to announce the candidates for the 2019-2020 SSIG Executive Committee

Voting for the SSIG Elections opens on April 23rd and will close at 11:59pm on May 20th.
Results will be published on May 28th and those elected into position will take office on June 1st, 2019.

Voting is as simple as 1, 2, 3!

1. Go to the voting site: https://vote.associationvoting.com/ipta/

2. Log in by entering your last name and your APTA member number.

3. Follow the online instructions to cast your ballot.

Using your APTA member number ensures that your vote is unique to you and can only be cast once. Once cast, it is anonymous in the system.

 

Best of luck to all candidates!

*** All candidates appear in order of positions & alphabetically

Executive Committee Positions

CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT

MEET:

ELIZABETH MILLER TOLISANO, SPT

 

2nd year student at University of Illinois - Chicago

 

 

Why do you wish to run for this position?

" I would like to be President of Illinois Student Special Interest Group. I am a non-traditional SPT, teaching high school chemistry for 8 years before returning to school myself, so I have a unique voice and background. My time in the classroom taught me important skills I would bring to this role: leadership, organization, creativity, and patience. As Science Department Chair, I developed a vision for our department, coordinated and organized teachers around common goals, and planned and ran weekly meetings.

I will use my strong facilitation and coordination skills as President so that the SSIG is serving the needs of all student IPTA members. PT school involves a lot of textbook studying, but physical therapy is inherently a very social profession. I want to bring students and therapists together to learn from each other and advocate for our profession. I also plan to advocate for student physical therapists and focus on issues that relate directly to students and the future of physical therapy in Illinois.

My vision for the future of the physical therapy profession in Illinois and beyond includes focusing on our role as primary care providers, incorporating more research and technology into practice, and playing a larger role in the prescription drug crisis. I want to be President to meet and learn from students and therapists throughout Illinois who share a common vision of the role of physical therapy to make people’s lives better. "

A little bit about Betsy:

"Right now, physical therapy school is taking up most of my time, but having hobbies and interests outside of school has always helped me focus and decreased my stress. First, I am a runner. I love getting outside and moving by the power of my own legs. I have run four marathons, many shorter races and am currently training for a half marathon in Milwaukee next month. I use running as stress relief and also to allow myself to enjoy another hobby: cooking. I enjoy cooking dinners during the week, baking on the weekends, and trying out new recipes whenever possible. Working in the kitchen allows me to be creative and making things for my friends and family gives me a way to express my love. Finally, I love to read. I always have a least one book I’m working through and often am reading multiple books at the same time. I read whenever I have a few spare minutes. I read on the bus, between classes, even while my husband is watching NBA games. My hobbies are a big part of my identity and I am always sure to reward myself with running, cooking or reading during a tough week at school. "


MEET:

KYLE NEGANGARD, SPT

 

1st year student at Rosalind Franklin University

 

 

Why do you wish to run for this position?

"As a physical therapist student, my purpose is to increase the quality of life of other individuals through movement and make a positive impact/transformation in the way society treats dysfunction. As president of the SSIG, I intend to align our vision as physical therapists and be a voice informing individuals and society about our capabilities as health providers. It is my belief that we can have a very strong, beneficial influence on the functional capabilities of the members of our respective communities and it all starts with educating the public on how we can help them improve their quality of life.  "

A little bit about Kyle:

"First and foremost I am a student, I love the challenge that physical therapy school has presented so far and I wake up everyday, extremely excited to learn more and more about our profession and abilities to improve/restore the capabilities of individuals. I own and operate (along with my brother) a pumpkin patch outside of my hometown of Sidney, IL which has allowed me to learn a tremendous amount about leadership and management. I also love to exercise and play sports including powerlifting, trail-running, volleyball, football....to name a few. I would say above all else I am a competitor (not in a bad way), I strive to bring as much positive energy into any situation I go into this drives my overwhelming desire to improve the quality of life of individuals in need. "


MEET:

SARA STANKOSKEY, SPT

 

1st year student at Rosalind Franklin University

 

 

Why do you wish to run for this position?

"I believe that it’s so important for PT and PTA students to be actively involved in the APTA and have a positive impact on the physical therapy profession. We’re the future of the profession - we deserve to voice our passions and advocate for ourselves and soon to be patients. Since starting PT school, I’ve been determined to get involved with a team of like-minded colleagues to provide opportunities for Illinois PT/PTA students to develop into the best possible future clinicians. I have had numerous opportunities to develop my leadership skills through attending national leadership conferences, serving as a conference representative for determining NCAA legislation, and serving uninsured individuals in our local community. These experiences will provide me with the tools necessary to be a part of a team that serves PT/PTA students at the highest level throughout Illinois.

As the President of the IPTA SSIG, I would focus my efforts on encouraging more students to become involved in the APTA and the SSIG, providing opportunities for PT/PTA students to network with each other and other professionals, organizing educational events locally, and serving as the voice of our student body. I would be very fortunate to have the opportunity to serve as the President of the Student Special Interest Group and appreciate your consideration of me for this position. Thank you!  "

A little bit about Sara:

"I’ve lived in Illinois my whole life and grew up in Carol Stream. I love playing soccer and played collegiately for 4 years at Illinois State University! In my spare time, I’m probably watching the Blackhawks (or any hockey game that’s on TV), listening to podcasts, exploring the city, or going to concerts with friends.

I also have a huge passion for helping pre-physical therapy students get accepted into physical therapy school! Through my journey to PT school, I felt alone throughout the whole process, so I wanted to give back and help others who are in the position I was. I work with a platform called Pre-PT Grind as a mentor, pre-physical therapy student coach, and social media intern coordinator. I have found that being a mentor to these students has been very rewarding as they overcome the obstacles faced in their journeys to becoming future DPTs. "


CANDIDATES FOR VICE PRESIDENT

MEET:

AAYUSH SHAH, SPT

 

2nd year student at Northwestern University

 

 

Why do you wish to run for this position?

"I wish to run for the position of vice president to have a platform to achieve multiple goals for our student body and the community. I plan to strengthen the relationship between physical therapy students and physical therapy assistant students to create a collaborative environment prior to our entrance in our respective fields. A personal belief of mine is that we can always help others on our journey to success. As such, I plan to prioritize philanthropic efforts with future SSIG endeavors to help connect our profession with the community. Another plan of mine is to further the profession’s advocacy efforts. With teamwork and collaboration with external organizations, I plan to use this platform to further advocate and represent our profession within different communities. "

A little bit about Aayush:

"I am a second year student at Northwestern University with an interest in outpatient orthopedics with a focus on manual therapy. When I’m not in class or studying, I like to stay active by going to the gym, running on the trails or playing basketball/football with my friends. I also enjoy catching up on TV shows, watching sports and trying different foods. ."


MEET:

BRIANA ZABIEREK, SPT

 

1st year student at Rosalind Franklin University

 

 

Why do you wish to run for this position?

"I chose to run for the position of Vice President because being involved in a group that aspires to grow the profession of physical therapy is one I want to be part of. From the first day of our program, I wanted to be active in our school, community and with the APTA and IPTA. Being elected for this position affords me the opportunity to work alongside equally motivated, excited, and persistent students to make our PT and PTA educational experiences the highest-quality. I currently hold an executive board position in a group on campus that works within our local community to grow our profession. I was also able to attend APTA's Combined Sections Meeting in January to learn more about the future endeavors of our profession. With these experiences, I feel prepared and eager to take on the role as Vice President of the SSIG for the IPTA. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the PT and PTA students in Illinois and growing the profession at the state level. Thank you for taking time to consider me for this position! "

A little bit about Briana :

"I was raised in Lockport, Illinois and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for my undergraduate degree where I studied Nutrition and Exercise Science with a minor in Psychology. I was an All-American for the Women's Bowling Team and have competed at the professional and national level. I have a 2-year-old dog named Olive who is the sweetest little Scottie and Yorkie mix. I'm an aficionado of The Office and enjoy watching the latest thrillers in the cinema. "


CANDIDATES FOR SECRETARY/ TREASURER

MEET:

CLARA MATA, SPT

 

2nd year student at Governors State University

Why do you wish to run for this position?

"After attending my first IPTA Revitalize as an SSIG representative for my school, I was motivated and inspired to become more involved with the SSIG and IPTA as a whole. As an IPTA member, I would like to contribute to the field of physical therapy and represent students that can identify with me. In other words, I would like to motivate others to be more involved with IPTA and the SSIG. I believe that my past experience as secretary of my DPT class will help me excel in this position and further advance my skills. I was also given the opportunity to interview and Emerging Leader in physical therapy and she motivated me to become more involved no matter how big or small the project. Being proactive is something I would like to continue to strive for and I believe that this position will give me the opportunity to do so."

A little bit about Clara:

"I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and am an SPT at Governors State University. I am the first member of my family to graduate from college and pursue a career in physical therapy. Upon graduating and passing the board exam, I plan on continuing my career in Chicago and work with underrepresented and underserved communities.

I like to keep myself busy and as active as possible whether that is at the gym or taking long walks. I am a food lover and enjoy trying out different restaurants. I absolutely love Mexican food and sushi! One fact about me that some may not know is that, I love to collect unique and cute coffee mugs. "


MEET:

KIMBERLY RAMIREZ, SPT

 

2nd year student at Northwestern University

Why do you wish to run for this position?

"I want to run for this position because of my recent involvement with SSIG as a student representative for my class. This position showed me how easy it is to be involved and make it meaningful. I am eager to be in a higher leadership position and be able to coordinate efforts to advocate for our profession as well as create a welcoming environment for those who are not yet involved with leadership/advocacy. My passion is working with others as a team and advocating for those who are not represented. I am well organized and my forward planning is a great asset for this position involving taking care of the agenda as well as being timely. I would love to run this position because I want to learn more about my peers and be more hands on with ensuring students get a say in what happens in our profession. My recent attendance to CSM has really inspired me to become part of something bigger which is why I am excited to run for a position on the board. "

A little bit about Kimberly:

"I am a 2nd year DPT student at Northwestern University. I like to be involved with the community as well as serve those who are less fortunate. I love to volunteer my time to organizations that help others succeed. Currently, I volunteer with youth from inner city neighborhoods through the Chicago park district with a program called “Chicago Youth Programs” to teach them about the importance of physical activity and remaining active through play and ensuring safe body mechanics while doing so. I am also involved with Love Your Melon crew at school to raise awareness and fundraiser for pediatric cancer. In addition, I am involved with a non profit organization called “The Kids Equipment Network” and volunteer my time once a month to provide wheelchairs for kids whose parents cannot afford it or insurance does not cover these life changing devices. When I am not volunteering, I love to run and hang out with my 4 amazing nieces and nephew as well as my family. The best part of seeing them is that we end up dancing and having a great time!  "


MEET:

HIRAL TAILOR, SPT

 

2nd year student at Northwestern University

Why do you wish to run for this position?

"I chose to run for this position to be able to bring my leadership skills to a group of individuals who are highly interested and motivated in helping our profession grow. After working on a research project this past year regarding health disparities in underserved Chicago communities, it has shown that the people within our profession are needed to step up and I felt a calling to make that difference. Advocating for our profession and more importantly for the people who are in need of healthcare services is of importance to me and reciving an opportunity such as this will help enable me to actively make a difference. My strong desire towards the profession and my constant need to improve myself will serve beneficial not only to me and my teammates, but it will help foster new ideas and improvements towards our profession. Being organized, precise, and focused are some of my strong suits that will help to bring out the best in my peers as we all strive to attain a similar goal. It would be an absolute blessing to be able to work with my motivated peers on the executive committee to ensure that PT/PTA students’ opinions and interests are being voiced, and represented to advocate for our own profession."

A little bit about Hiral:

"I am a 2nd year physical therapy student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and I am interested in outpatient orthopedic physical therapy. I not only devote my time to academics, but I also choose to partake in activities that build my social skills as well as professional skills. I currently work with Consortium of Universities for Global Health to understand how and why global health affects the community we live in and more importantly people around the world with limited access to healthcare. I enjoy being active by routinely going to the gym and playing sports with my friends during my free time. My interests in physical activity also lead me to volunteer with Shirley Ryan Ability Lab’s Wheelchair Rugby team.  "


CANDIDATES FOR SPECIAL EVENTS COORDINATOR

MEET:

JESSILYN GIBAS, SPT

 

2nd year student at Rosalind Franklin University

 

 

Why do you wish to run for this position?

"During my first and currently into my second year of physical therapy school, I have been involved with the IPTA and APTA’s events. I have been able to attend district meetings, further advance my education with Third Thursday events and webinars, and I was able to attend CSM in New Orleans. Through all of these opportunities I have seen first hand how the IPTA provides support for students to further enhance their education and experiences in the physical therapy realm. The ability for us as students to voice our opinions on how we would like to further our profession is a privilege and to have an organization who encourages and supports us to do so is invaluable.

In undergrad I was an event coordinator for 2 years with health and fitness organization on campus. I am very familiar with coordinating schedules and communicating with individuals to organize events. Qualities I possess which I believe will help in this position are I am organized, responsible, I have a passion for the physical therapy profession, and I am constantly challenging complacency. The IPTAs SSIG is an organization I would like to become more involved with and I would like to help in advocating for opportunities for students to continue to develop and grow as future health care providers."

A little bit about Jessilyn:

"I am currently a second year SPT at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. My background consists of a Contemporary Dance Major at Indiana University where I received a B.S. in Kinesiology while obtaining my pre-requisites to apply for PT school. Currently I am interested in the orthopedic and spinal cord injury setting.

In my “free” time from PT school you can find me outdoors hitting the trails to hike, no matter the weather (yes I might have driven through a snowstorm to hike at a very snowy Starved Rock State Park this winter). One of my goals is to be able visit and hike all 58 National Parks. This last November I took a road trip to Utah’s 5 National Parks and 1 State Park in 7 days! When you only have a week break from PT school you make it work. "


MEET:

DANIELLE MATTEA, SPTA

 

1st year student at Southwestern Illinois College

 

 

Why do you wish to run for this position?

"After attending the REVITALIZE conference this past weekend, I returned home so inspired as to what else is out there as a student. While volunteering at the registration desk, I was told about this position and immediately was drawn to the idea. I was excited at the avenues that were open to me as a student that I did not know was possible. As a first year PTA student, I feel like I have only begun to skim the surface of the possibilities in my field and I am very excited to further pursue this passion of mine. I think it would be amazing to have someone from Southern Illinois to be on the SSIG board to allow a broader range of reach we could have for students in the state of Illinois. Planning special events and meet ups would be just one more way I could get involved in this incredible field. The growth and potential of physical therapy is endless and I would love to be sitting on this student board for the next year and to watch our field evolve even more."

A little bit about Danielle:

"Currently, I am a first year student about to finish up my second semester so needles to say... I don't have a ton of free time. In that time though, I enjoy spending it with my husband, family and friends, going to baseball games or spending time outside. Traveling has always been a passion of mine, which I hope to do more of when I graduate! I work part time at my job of 10 years working with geriatrics, my passion, as a CNA/therapy aide. I am a first time aunt as of one month ago so most of my free time is spent loving her!"


MEET:

SARA STANKOSKEY, SPT

 

1st year student at Rosalind Franklin University

 

 

Why do you wish to run for this position?

"I believe that it’s so important for PT/PTA students to be actively involved in the APTA and have a positive impact on the future of our physical therapy profession. Since starting PT school, I’ve been determined to become involved with a team of like-minded individuals to provide additional meaningful and educational opportunities outside of the classroom for Illinois PT/PTA students. I have had the opportunity to assist with organizing multiple talent show fundraising events in the past and believe these experiences will help me serve as the special events coordinator for the IPTA SSIG to the best of my ability. I would be honored to serve in this position, take charge with organizing events, and help students across Illinois develop into the best possible future clinicians. I appreciate your time and consideration. Thank you!"

A little bit about Sara:

"I’ve lived in Illinois my whole life and grew up in Carol Stream! I love playing soccer and played collegiately for 4 years at Illinois State University. In my spare time, I’m probably watching the Blackhawks (or any hockey game that’s on TV), listening to podcasts, exploring the city, or going to concerts with friends.

I also have a huge passion for helping pre-physical therapy students get accepted into physical therapy school! Through my journey to PT school, I felt alone throughout the whole process, so I wanted to give back and help others who are in the position I was. I work with a platform called Pre-PT Grind as a mentor, pre-physical therapy student coach, and social media intern coordinator. I have found that being a mentor to these students has been very rewarding as they overcome the obstacles faced in their journeys to becoming future DPTs. "


CANDIDATES FOR SPTA DIRECTOR

MEET:

NIA GREEN, SPTA

 

1st year student at Fox College

 

 

Why do you wish to run for this position?

"I want to be SPTA director because I want to be a voice for SPTA. I feel that it is important to be informed on our rights and take an active role in creating change where we see fit. I have had leadership roles in college as the President of the Central Black Student Union and Social Action chairperson of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc that will help me in this role. "

A little bit about Nia:

"Along with my studies to be a PTA, I am an Exercise Specialist at ATI and Zumba Instruction at XSport Fitness. As another source of enjoyment, I operate a home bakery called Batter Believe It, LLC. I love baking and being a designer of confections. Buttercream is my specialty where I experiment with all different flavors. I learned how to bake from my grandmother and over the years I have taught myself new tricks and trends. I also have a passion for cooking and basketball. My family has been the reason for my love for cooking and basketball. Food brings everyone together in a loving mood and basketball fuels our friendly rivalry. Even when a game doesn't go our way, a good meal can make everything alright. "


MEET:

ALLISON LUND, SPTA

 

1st year student at Southwestern Illinois College

 

 

Why do you wish to run for this position?

"I am taking as many steps as I can to be active in the PT profession. I am dedicated to myself, my classmates, and other students like me that are trying to be involved and learn all that physical therapy has to offer them. I am a very organized individual and I am incredibly people oriented but I am able to stay on task to get jobs done quickly and efficiently. "

A little bit about Allison:

"Outside of school, I find myself reading and playing video games when possible. I work out at my local gym trying to better myself. I currently work part time at Aldi and I am also in the Army Reserves. "



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